In February the Paralympic Squad learned the number of places we had gained for Beijing for each disability category. Unfortunately for me that meant a selection shoot scheduled for 31 May.
Things were going well and I was starting to get PBs at the shoots I was going to.
On 15 May I turned yellow so the following day I went for blood tests at the Royal Free Hospital where I had been given my liver transplant.
17 May saw the GNAS National Disabled Archery Competition. I felt very tired and jaundiced but wanted to take part. 12 arrows into the 30 metre section I received a phone call telling me I was very ill and it was essential I go into hospital as soon as possible. However I finished the competition regardless, getting a PB and coming second to Kathy Critchlow-Smith!
As soon as I finished shooting I left immediately for the Royal Free Hospital and the following day (a Sunday) they opened part of the Radiology Department especially for me to have a liver biopsy. This unfortunately showed chronic rejection of my transplanted liver. To try and counter this I have been put on large doses of immuno-suppression drugs.
Two weeks after being admitted to hospital I was due at Lilleshall. I was definitely unfit to drive but my coach agreed to be my “Knight in shining armour” and drove me to the selection shoot. Comments such as ‘You look awful’ and ‘what on earth are you doing here?’ were flying around’. I replied, ‘I’m not sure – but if I don’t try to take part in the shoot I have no chance of going to the Paralympics and my next chance would not be for 4 years’.
As I had not shot for 2 weeks and not sat up for more than an hour at a time I was very worried. I am not sure how I managed to do the Olympic round then a round robin head-to-head in the afternoon where I scored the best 2 dozen ends I had done all day. At 1630 hours the squad was announced – I had won a place for Beijing! No time to celebrate as I had to return to being an in-patient – but my phone became very busy!!
RM - You might like to see the following articles published elsewhere:
GNAS Website - http://www.gnas.org/nlstory.cfm?ID=29015&NLID=40831
British Wheelchair Sport - http://www.wheelpower.org.uk/news/nlstory.cfm?ID=29030&NLID=59544